Friday, May 3, 2019

Banner MacGregor and the Hedgehog of Doom

What? Your dogs don't have bonus names?

Sure they do. It’s that additional name we tack on when we find ourselves remembering the days when our parents belted out our first and middle names as one imperial command right before shit got real. Made you pay attention, didn't it?

My boys’ secondary names tend to be of Scottish extraction.

Connor MacLeod. Yes, of Highlander fame. There can only be one.

Jamie was James Alexander (with the addition of Malcom MacKenzie Fraser, if things had really gone south). Outlander fans need no explanation.

Phoenix MacKenzie. Not really sure where that one came from. It just rolled off my tongue one day.

And Banner MacGregor.

Banner MacGregor, Scourge of Rodents, First of His Line, Wiggler of Butts, Eater of Dragons (hell, he eats everything else, why not?) and Shredder of Stuffies of the Seven Kingdoms.

I was reading the Game of Thrones series the summer Bann came to live with me. His name was inspired by the war cry, "Rally the banner men!" whenever one kingdom went charging off on some ill-fated military campaign against another. As much as I loved the books, I was reluctant to name him after any of the characters since George R.R. Martin's central characters are not known for their longevity.

And now I present the Hedgehog of Doom.

Don't let looks fool you.
There's not a lot of innocent
going on here.

This is not the original Hedgie.

There have been a string of Hedgies, some won as trial prizes and others rescued from vendors' toy bins. The first one got its name at a long-ago training class where we were proofing recalls. I put it on the floor in the dogs’ path. Just a little stuffy, sitting there looking stuffed.

Did I mention it honked in a most unnatural way? I am sure no sound like that has ever come out of a hedgehog in nature. I may have honked it a few times before putting it down.

Without exception, the dogs avoided it like it was a plague-infested rat. They steered around it to the extent of detouring to the far side of the ring. I think a couple of them would have exited the building and come back in through the windows to avoid it.

I have no idea why. It just sat there, in all its lumpy glory, doing . . . nothing.

Phoenix summarily dispatched it one night when I wasn’t looking. Maybe he knew something I didn’t. Maybe it was the Demon Hedgie From Hell.

There have been other Hedgies through the years. When they were the object of play, they were enjoyed to fullest extent of the player. The Hedgie, being the playee, usually did not fare so well. The Belgians were proficient at field-dressing.

When Banner demonstrated the need to step up his work game, I went in search of the Hedgie that had been languishing in a toy box and got to work.

Hedgehog on a tractor.
Is that like Elf on a Shelf?
 He’s a crafty little devil (the stuffy, not Banner). He shows up in unexpected places. Banner is slowly coming to terms with the fact Hedgie-hunting is not allowed or encouraged in the course of a training session. I got a clear “Are you ****ing kidding me?" look the first time I asked him do a retrieve with his dumbbell next to the Hedgehog of Doom.

Since I train so much by myself, I’m thinking of getting a whole battalion of Hedgies to assist with helping Bann work through some focus issues.

Banner MacGregor, Scourge of Rodents, First of His Line, Wiggler of Butts, Eater of Dragons, Shredder of Stuffies of the Seven Kingdoms and Conqueror of the Hedgehog of Doom.

Coming to a big screen near you.

1 comment:

  1. It’s rediculous how similar we are. Both my dogs have Irish or Scottish names. I’m not really sure which it is, given that I’m Italian and know next to nothing of Great Britain heritage, nonetheless we have at our house: Juicy McCoy (she’s the real McCoy, or, of the Hatfields and the McCoys) and Loki McGee. I have no idea where these names come from, but they are on a long list of their other names, all of which they respond to. It’s so nice to read all anout Banner MacGregor. Suits him well!